Tag Archives: Turnips

Last Chance – almost.. Plant your Fall and early Winter garden this weekend

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Fast growing cool weather crops like lettuce, turnips and radishes can still be planted in zones 6-10.

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Mama And Doctors

Eat Your Vegetables – Mama Said and Mama was right ‘again’.

Some vegetables, flavors intensify as the plant matures, which is why the so called baby versions have a wide taste appeal with just as many health benefits.
Experiment with baby artichokes, beans, beets, cucumbers(2-4 inches long), okra(small is better), peppers, turnips and squashes(4-5 inches long) and carrots (the ones sold in bunches, with greens still attached not those sold in plastic bags, which are simply regular carrots, trimmed down.

You can find the babies at larger supermarkets, specialty grocers, and farmers’ markets such as younger brussels sprouts, can even be bought frozen. Not only do many people find baby vegetables more flavorful and less bitter, but they prefer the texture, too. Young vegetables are tender and require less cooking time.

Brussels sprout salad:
Slice vert thin, add a small amount of vinegarette dressing, toss well and let set for 20-30 minutes. Toss again to coat sprouts with dressing and add a few roasted pine nuts just before serving.

Oil them up judiciously using fats especially heart healthy ones like olive oil can go far in helping you love your veggies. When fat binds with seasonings and spices, it can transform vegetables from a duty diet item to something downright yummy. The link between vegetable avoidance and certain cancers is strong enough to justify a few oil added calories.

Raw veggies probably aren’t the first thing you crave when a snack attack strikes, but you’ll be much more tempted to eat them when they’re dunked in hummus, low fat dip, or your favorite salad dressing. Try munching at work, in front of the TV or when surfing the internet. Snacking on veggies away from the dinner table makes eating them feel like less of a health chore.

The poor lonely onion family, which includes leeks, shallots, and garlic, is rich in compounds suspected to fight cancer, says nutritionist Valerie Green, MPH. But for onion haters, the sharp flavors and strong smells can be almost nauseating. Try slow roasting plants in the onion family, which brings out the sweetness and cuts the sharpness. Brush leeks, shallots, garlic or thick sliced onions with a little olive oil(or ‘real’ butter) wrap in foil packets, and toss on the grill to mild down take the sting.

Tomato’s little secret is making sure you buy those that are vine ripened which eliminates almost all the bitter flavors, says Autar Mattoo, PhD, a molecular biologist with the USDA.

Over mature eggplants are bitter, but the size of this fiber and potassium packed vegetable isn’t your best clue. If your thumb leaves an indent that doesn’t bounce back, the eggplant will be spongy, tough, and bad tasting, even if it’s a little one. To further improve taste, check out its “belly button” at the blossom end, eggplants have either an oval or round dimple. Buy only the ovals.

To reduce eggplant’s bitter tendencies even more, after you slice it, sprinkle it with salt, then wait about half hour, rinse, pat dry and proceed with your recipe. Salt draws out water which contains the bitter tasting compounds.
Eggplants are worth the trouble. The insides of these veggies are high in polyphenols the same chemicals that make apples so good for you.

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Think Green – Green Salads Is On The Menu

Soil temperatures are creeping up. Many places soils are at or near 60 degrees. That is your signal to plant your salad garden.

leaf lettuce

leaf lettuce

Source University of Illinois Extension Lettuce is a cool weather vegetable that thrives when the average daily temperature is between 60 and 70°F. Plant in early spring. Many gardeners will need to select types and varieties of lettuce that withstand heat. Some are much more heat tolerant than other varieties.

Leaf lettuce, the most widely adapted of all the Lettuce types, produces crisp leaves loosely arranged on the stalk. Romaine types form a upright, elongated head. Butterhead varieties are generally small, loose heading types that have tender, soft leaves with a delicate flavor.

Green Leaf
Black-seeded Simpson (early to harvest)
Grand Rapids (frilly edges; good for coldframes, greenhouse, garden)
Oak Leaf (resistant to tipburn; good for hot weather)
Red Leaf
Red Fire (ruffles with red edge – slow to bolt)
Red Sails (slowest bolting red leaf lettuce)
Ruby (darkest red of all – resistant to tipburn)
Cimmaron (unique, dark red leaf)
Green Towers (early – dark green, large leaves)
Paris Island (long – standing)

Leaf lettuce may be cut whenever it is large enough to use. Cutting every other plant at ground level gives the remaining plants more space. Leaf lettuce reaches maximum size (6 to 12 ounces) in 50 to 60 days. Butterhead varieties form small, loose heads that weigh 4 to 8 ounces at harvest (60 to 70 days).

Harvesting and Storage Harvest leaf varaties at any size. Store lettuce, wash, drip dry and place in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Plant your lettuce carefully following the seed package instructions.
* What went wrong? Failure of seeds to germinate is almost always caused by insufficient moisture. Take extra care to keep the seedbed moist, but not soggy, until the seedlings emerge.

growing-swiss-chard Planting Swiss Chard
Plant chard seeds 2 to 3 weeks before the last spring frost date. Before planting, mix 1 cup of 5-10-10 fertilizer into the soil for every 20 feet of row.
Water the plants evenly, water often during dry spells.

Harvest/Storage of Swiss Chard Start harvesting when the plants are 6 to 8 inches tall. Cut off the outer leaves 1-1/2 inches above the ground.
The leaves can be eaten fresh(raw) as greens or you can cook them like spinach.
Store chard in the refrigerator in ventilated plastic bags.

Swiss chard is not only one of the most popular vegetables along the Mediterranean but it is one of the most nutritious vegetables around and ranks second only to spinach following our analysis of the total nutrients.

Beet and turnip greens should be considered. Adding fresh, young, tender, flavorful beet and turnip greens to your salads adds another level of flavor and texture to your salads.

Another – Mediterranean style dressing.
1 medium clove Chopped Garlic
1 table spoon fresh lemon or lime juice
3 table spoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste
6 or more kalamata (packed in oil) olives
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 tea spoon soy sauce
1 tea spoon dry oregano

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Carrots, Parsnips, Radishes, Turnips, And Rutabagas

Carrots, parsnips, radishes, turnips, and rutabagas all have similar cultural requirements and grow in cool weather. Since they are hardy, they may be planted early in the spring, and left in the garden until fall. In addition, tops of beets and turnips are commonly used as cooked greens and can be harvested while the plants are young.

Root crops like to be grown in full sun but most will tolerate light afternoon share.
Seed Germination temperature is 50F to 85F. Most will germinate at temperatures as low a 40F. They will germinate in about a week at 75F.

Soil preparation is very important in achieving success with the root crops. They grow best in a deep, rock free, loose well drained soil that retains moisture.
Root crops do not grow well in very acid soils.
Nitrogen recommendations for beets, carrots, parsnips, and rutabagas are about 3/4 to 1 cup of urea/100 sq. ft. Apply half during seed bed preparation and sidedress the other half in mid-season.
Radishes and turnips, nitrogen recommendations are about 1/2 cup urea/100 sq. ft. to be broadcast and incorporated before planting.
You can improve your soil by adding well rotted manure or compost. Do not use fresh manure as it can stimulate branching of the roots, compromising the quality of the crop and may increase weed problems.
Till the soil deeply, then smooth the surface in order to prepare a good seedbed.

Plant radishes and turnips beginning about April 15 for a spring crop, and again August 1 for a fall crop.
Start planting carrots and beets beginning April 15.
Plant parsnips beginning May 1.
For a continuous supply of young carrots, make two or three plantings spaced two or three weeks apart.
Rutabagas require a long growing season and should be planted May 15 for a fall crop.

Carrots, parsnips, radishes, and turnips should be thinned to 2-3 inch spacing. Rutabagas should be thinned to a 8 inch spacing.

Root crops need at least 1 inch of water from rainfall or irrigation each week during the growing season. Always soak the soil thoroughly when watering. Your soil should remain ‘damp’ not wet.

Grow Carrots in containers
University of Minnesota
Cornell university
University of Illinois
Utah state university

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Cole Vegetables For Your Spring And Fall Garden

Cole family vegetables will germinate at soil temperatures as low as 40 F. However, germination temperatures 45F to 85F will cause seeds to germinate faster with a higher percentage of your seeds germinating.
Hint: Keep your seed bed damp, Not Wet for better seed germination.

This means that Cole crops will be one of the first crops you can plant in your Spring/Summer garden.

Cole crops grow well on a wide variety of soils, but a well drained soil with high organic matter content is preferred. Apply NPK 5-10-10 at 3 pounds per 100 square feet before planting. These vegetables should be sidedressed once during the growing season. Sidedress with 33-0-0 at 1 pound per hundred feet of row. More frequent sidedressing may be required if the garden is sandy or leaching rains occur.

Water sufficiently to moisten the soil to a depth of at least 6 inches. Light sprinklings will only encourage shallow rooting of the plants. It is important to have a constant uniform moisture supply to produce a high quality crop and to have the spring crop mature before the onset of high summer temperatures. Mulching can help conserve water and reduce weeds.

Generally speaking, insect pest are less of a problem for Fall planted crops. Bolting to seed is also less of a problem when planted for Fall and early Winter harvest.

Cabbage leaf’s, collard greens, kale, mustard greens and turnip greens can be harvested at any size for use in salads. Small, young leaves are tender and have a milder flavor.

Cole crops enjoy cool seasons and are somewhat cold tolerant. Cabbage for instance can withstand frost down to 20 degrees F. sometimes surviving temperatures as low as 15 degrees F. Cauliflower and chard are more sensitive to cold than broccoli, collards, kale, kohlrabi, or mustard.

When you plant cole crops in your home garden you are investing in a healthful life. Gardeners are in the business of producing health foods even though they may not know it. Vegetables contain essential elements for health and the enjoyment of eating fresh garden vegetables makes health fun. Vitamin C cannot be stored in the body, making a daily supply essential to good health.

Cabbage broccoli, collards, and other vegetables of the cabbage family are rich in vitamin C, as are leafy vegetables. Kale and turnip greens supply carotene, which the human digestive system converts to Vitamin A.

The edible parts of broccoli and cauliflower are the flower heads which are quite sensitive to environmental and nutritional stress. Cabbage and Brussels sprouts produce leafy heads and can withstand greater fluctuations in weather conditions.

** Fall Planting Dates: Using the days to harvest on your seed package, add 21 days to get your seed to harvest times.
Based on your first hard frost date, count back from frost date days from seed to harvest to get your last chance planting date.

# Example
Find Your First and Last Frost Date
Your first hard Frost date 15 November
Seed package days to harvest 60 + 21 days = 81 days.
Count backwards, Your last chance seed planting date is: 27th day of August
It is OK and even preferred to plant before that date but anytime after that date will likely result in a failed Fall garden crop due to frost or freeze damage.
Many Fall gardeners start planting their fall gardens starting in late June and early July.

Days to harvest: 50–65

Arcadia—late (fall production); small heads; domed
Early Dividend—early; reliable yields
Green Comet—early; large center heads and side shoots
Green Valiant—midseason; small firm heads
Gypsy—midseason; heat tolerant
Mariner—midseason; medium-sized compact heads
Packman—early to midseason; uniform; large heads
Premium Crop—midseason; large center heads; few side shoots

Brussels sprouts
Days to harvest: 85–110

Jade Cross—large dark green sprouts
Prince Marvel—mild tasting; small to medium sprouts

Cabbage (green)
Early-season cultivars mature approximately 50 to 60 days

after transplanting.
Late season cultivars may require 100 or more days to mature.
Arrowhead—early; cone-shaped head
Blue Pak—midseason; medium to large dark blue heads
Bravo—midseason; uniform round blue-green heads
Dynamo—early; small heads; less likely to split
Gourmet—midseason; medium to large heads
Head Start—early; medium to large heads
Heads Up—early; fusarium yellows resistant
Rio Verde—late; large blue-green heads
Savoy Express—savoy type; early
Savoy King—savoy type; midseason; high yields
Stonehead—very early; small heads

Cabbage (red)
Red Acre—midseason; small round heads
Regal Red—early; medium heads
Ruby Perfection—late; small to medium dark red heads

Early-season cultivars mature approximately 50 to

55 days after transplanting. Late-season cultivars mature
in 75 to 80 days. Novelty cultivars produce purple and orange heads that change color when cooked.
Candid Charm—midseason
Early Snowball—early
Snow Crown—early; reliable for spring and fall
Snowball Y—midseason; solid smooth heads
White Sails—midseason

Days to harvest: 70–80

Flash—non-heading type; slow to bolt; blue-green leaves
Georgia—non-heading type; wavy blue-green leaves Morris—heading type; open pollinated
Top Bunch—deep green, slightly wavy, broad leaves
Vates—non-heading type; compact plants; smooth, dark green, thick-textured leaves; open pollinated

Days to harvest: 50–60

Blue Ridge—dark blue-green, curled leaves
Redbor—finely curled, red-purple leaves
Vates—finely curled, blue-green leaves
Winterbor—blue-green, finely curled leaves
Days to harvest: 50–60
Early Purple Vienna—early, reddish purple with
white flesh
Early White Vienna—early, greenish white with
white flesh
Grand Duke—pale green with mild white flesh

Chinese cabbage
Days to harvest: 60-80

Bravo, Market Prize, Rio Verde, Savoy Express
Tropic Giant (hybrid)
Green Jewels (hybrid)
Pak Choi Type – Joi Choi (hybrid)

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Parsnips – Rutabagas – Turnips

parsnip Parsnips – Rutabagas – Turnips – Three root crops that must not be over looked in your home garden.

Parsnip is a root vegetable closely related to the carrot. Its long tuberous root is cream colored and can be left in the ground when it matures. It becomes sweeter in flavor after winter frosts. Parsnips is usually cooked but can also be eaten raw.
It is high in vitamins and minerals, especially potassium.

Half a cup of sliced, cooked parsnips has 3 grams of fiber, 55 calories. (RDA) vitamin C (11%), folate (11%), and manganese (10%).
Parsnip’s unique flavor comes when its starches change to sugar. This occurs after the first frost.

Some say “Parsnips are perhaps the hardiest of all garden crops.”
Parsnips like full sun but can tolerate light shade and frost. They require well drained soil loose, fertile soil, with a pH 6.0 to 7.0. Heavy clay soils may cause crooked and branched roots. Needs a fair amount of moisture.

Parsnip seeds need a soil temperature of 50%F to 85%F to germinate 65%F is a good planting temperature. Seeds emergence in 10 to 21 days. However, germination may take as long as 21 to 30 days with soil temperature at 50 F.

Sow seeds ½ inch deep, 2 inches apart. Thin to 3 to 4 inches apart. To speed germination, keep soil moist. You can sow along with radishes to break soil crust and mark your row. Parsnip Varieties for your consideration.
Rutabagas (aka)swedes winter turnips, Swedish turnips, Russian turnips, Canadian turnips. A favorite for fall and winter soups and dishes, and can also be used raw in salads. Rutabagas (are not a turnip) are often confused with turnips, but are sweeter flavored.

Rutabagas like full sun buy will tolerate light shade. They require a well drained soil
and will tolerates low fertility soils. High organic matter or nitrogen levels may cause poorly shaped roots. Loosen soil deeply or grow in raised beds to encourage good root development. Most gardens will not need fertilization.

Seeds will germinate from 40%F to 85%F, however about 60%F is a good time to plant your seed. Seedlings emerge in 4 to 7 days.
Plant seed 1/2 inch deep and 2 inches apart in early to mid summer, thin to 6 inches apart. Frost improves quality and flavor.

turnip Turnips are fast growing. Spring turnip crops are best harvested while the weather is still cool. The flavor of fall crops is improved by light frost.
Turnips are grown for their green tops as well as for their root crop. Use then in boiled greens, raw in salads, soups and stews. They can also be boiled, broiled or baked.

They prefers a well drained, fertile soil high in organic matter with a pH 6.0 to 7.5. Turnips can tolerate slightly alkaline soils. They need plentiful, consistent moisture. Loosen soil deeply or grow in raised beds to encourage good root development. They will tolerate less than ideal conditions, but poor soil will slow growth and hurt quality and flavor. Fertilize with a N-P-K 5-10-5 or similar fertilizer.

Turnip seed germinate at 40%F to 85%F but a soil temperature of about 60%F is a good time to plant your turnip crop. In early spring to late summer, sow seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep, 1 inch apart. Thin to about 4 to 6 inches apart.

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